Just because it doesn’t count doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Jair Jurrjens, who already had his spring debut pushed back because of a rainout on Thursday, tossed two innings of scoreless ball against the Pirates on Friday before the game was called due to rain.
Jurrjens threw 29 pitches over the two innings, 18 of them for strikes. He even struck out Andrew McCutchen looking on three pitches to start the game.
“I just wanted to throw strikes,” Jurrjens said. “My main concern was
to throw strikes and make it through it as quick as I could.”
As long as there’s no problems with his shoulder, Jurrjens will start on short rest against the Marlins on Tuesday.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.